Are you interested in finding out more about the Banksia plant? This week, we are spending time with A Handbook for A Bush Calendar: Lesson 35 is all about Banksia Flowers.
I love how Amy Mack describes her arms are full of flowers and she just can’t resist stopping at a Banksia to collect some of their spectacular flowers to add to her wildflower bouquet.
“In a very short time I had my arms as full as they would hold. At least, I thought so, until I caught sight, just ahead, of a tall banksia, covered with gorgeous flower-spikes, their rich bronze-red glowing in the morning light. It was Banksia ericifolia, one of the handsomest of the honeysuckles, or bottle brushes as they are alternately called. There is, I think, no more decorative plant in the bush than this particular banksia…” A Bush Calendar – Amy Mack
When we were out walking last week, we came unexpectedly upon a scattering of Banksias and I felt like I understood Amy’s joy at finding one of the most handsome flowers. The ones we came across were yellow in colour. We were able to observe the flowers, cones, and leaves.
If you are unable to go out and search for plants, why not try the National Museum of Australia’s interactive page called Knowing Plants. You can choose a location visited by Sir Joseph Banks, and explore the plants from that area. Sir Joseph collected and cataloged plants, along with Daniel Solander, Sydney Parkinson, Alexander Buchan and Herman Sporing, on the Endeavour’s Pacific voyage. The Banksia plant is named after him.
When we returned from our walk, I found some information on Sir Joseph Banks and his famous Florilegium to share with the children.
I’m not sure that it is possible to do a lesson on the Banksia without including the Bad Banksia Men, created by May Gibbs. So, we read Tales from the Bush, and I set up an invitation for the children to create their own Snugglepot and Cuddlepie story characters.
We are still hoping to add to our nature journals later on in the week.
What will you be doing to explore the beautiful Banksia flower?
Don’t forget to add your Banksia Study to your Nature Club work.